The Drum has the transcript of my recent talk at the CMO Network in the UK in which I railed against everything fake on the Internet and the bullshit Brexit vote.
The marketing industry had so many expectations of the digital world. For example, everything would be real, measured and trackable. But so many of those expectations turned out to be wrong.
In short, much of what we see online has turned out to be completely and utterly fake. We hear so many people talking about being ‘digital first’ or ‘digital only’. But is that just completely and utterly wrong?To begin, let’s go back to communications channels before the internet. Radio reports listener figures that represent real human beings. Print media does the same for readership and uses surveys to calculate how many people on average read a single copy. TV does the same for viewership and we can even take into account the average percentage of people who do not go to the loo and do watch the ads.
And all of these numbers are audited by independent third parties. Sure, there have been instances of – shall we say – ‘creative accounting’. But by and large, marketers have a good idea of how many human beings we are reaching when we use traditional media.
But I argue that we do not have good numbers for most internet-based channels. We do not know whether the numbers in analytics dashboards mean anything real. And companies such as Facebook, Google, and ad tech platforms do not let independent third parties audit their numbers. We just accept whatever they tell us.
So, today, after 20 years of Google, Facebook and Amazon ‘disrupting’ everything, we now must disrupt the idea that we see online is real – and discuss what the implications might mean.